Sunday, October 26, 2008

Up the Yangtze

This is a very very good documentary about the rapidly changing face of China. During the shooting of the film, the Chinese government was in the process of building the immense Three Gorges Dam. The building of the dam forced thousands of poor people from their homes and eventually left countless towns and villages under water. The government moved many of the people to nearby neighboring towns but some of the more poor families were left out of the equation.

The film is about a luxury cruise ship for (mostly Western) tourists to see the way China looked before modernization literally swallowed it up along a large portion of the Yangtze River.

The workers on the ship include many teenagers and early twentysomethings from families being forced out of their homes.

Director Yung Chang doesn't need to hit you over the head to make the point how f-ed up the whole thing is.

I look forward to seeing the fictional Still Life which uses the Three Gorges Dam project as the backdrop of the story. Jim saw it earlier this year and liked it a lot. Unfortunately, it isn't on DVD yet so I'll have to be patient.

Directed by Yung Chang


jamie said...

we almost showed this as part of our Film Series at work this year. is this showing occasionally on PBS? i'll have to keep my eyes peeled.

Listmaker said...

yeah, not sure. i think it was on a couple of times a couple of weeks ago. i was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.